There are lots of reasons to pony up a few extra dollars for organic eggs — they have those rich, deep yellow yolks, for instance, and you get the satisfaction of knowing the chickens who laid them lived better lives than the chickens who laid the sad non-organic eggs. But man, they are spendy.

One reason, Dan Charles reports at NPR, that organic eggs are expensive is that the chickens eat fancy imported food. American farmers aren’t growing enough organic feed to feed the chickens that produce organic eggs:

Most chickens eat feed made from ground-up corn and soybeans, but America’s farmers are not growing enough organic corn and soybeans — especially soybeans — to feed the country’s organic animals. …

It’s led to the following situation, which on the face of it seems bizarre. The U.S., a soybean superpower, ships conventional soybeans all over the world to feed animals in places like China. Meanwhile, in China, farmers are growing organic soybeans and sending them here.

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This all adds up; Charles reports that last summer organic chicken feed cost twice as much as conventional chicken feed. Plus, shipping all those soybeans back and forth burns extra fuel. Plus, it’s not even clear the organic feed from abroad is really organic … the rules aren’t as stringent in other countries.

Here’s one solution: Just go vegan. At this point, it’s less confusing, and almost certainly cheaper.

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